COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) Local candidates took the stage at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum Monday evening for a public forum hosted by the B/CS Chamber of Commerce.
With a little over two weeks until election day, Bryan and College Station candidates answered questions.
There are two candidates in the race for Single-member District 2 on the Bryan council. Incumbent Prentiss Madison is seeking re-election, while Rafael Peña, who previously served on the council for three years, wants to return to that seat. The spoke with KBTX on the changes they would like to see in Bryan.
"Some of the drainage issues that we have in north Bryan. Right now with the steel creek culvert replacements and the Woodville Rd. widening and the sewer lines and water lines that are going in over the next couple of months I think we are tackling some of the big issues, but we also have to keep digging deeper to fix some more drainage problems down the line," said Madison.
"I would fight to revisit that MU1 ban and hopefully overturn that decision so that we can bring that affordable housing option back to Bryan. In addition to affordable housing, I see a need for better park improvements and infrastructure spending," said Peña.
The candidates running for place two on the College Station city council are in a similar situation. The incumbent, Jerome Rektorik is running against John Crompton, who was a former councilman in College Station for four years. They also shared the issues they would like to tackle in College Station.
"In the next 20 years, we will have another 100,000 people here. There are two problems we have to address. The first is financial instability because we are not making growth pay for itself. The second is that we have to have a road system to accommodate them and right now we do not," said Crompton.
"There is traffic congestion in our community. We have to work together; it has to be a co-effort with the two cities, the county, TxDOT and A&M to find solutions for this. That is why I supported the regional mobility authority to help do just exactly that," said Rektorik.
Bryan Single-member District 1 also answered questions at Monday's forum. The three men running for mayor of Bryan, Andrew Nelson, Robert Rose and Patrick Giammalva, spoke about the regional park being planned at the former Travis B. Bryan Municipal Golf Course.
“I think we can come up with a better, alternate plan to the super park," said Robert Rose.
"I say we go back to the drawing board and come up with a new idea that leverages our resources, that is truly receptive to the wishes of most of our citizens, has better feasibility, still allows our budget to stay on track, and allows us to fund many of our other needed capital improvement projects,' said Rose.
Patrick Giammalva said he has been working for years to get the park cleaned up.
“I’ve been trying for four years to get that park cleaned up, and that lake cleaned up. And the super park you’re talking about—50,000 square foot of concrete steel, another 100,000 square foot of asphalt—that will create flooding on the highliest [sic] congested street in the city of Bryan," said Giammalva
“The Arsenic, we’re going to clean that up. The claimed drainage problems for this are also false," explained Mayor Andrew Nelson.
"We are going to expand, deepen, and clean that lake so it’s a beautiful amenity, which is what hundreds of citizens asked for. So we listened, we’re doing it, and a few misguided people—who have a problem with the process after the citizens have broadly spoken—are not going to change what’s best for the city of Bryan," continued Nelson.
Election Day is November 5.